How did a girl from Syosset, New York, who once claimed soccer as her first love become one of the most successful basketball players in the world?
But Friday, Bird reaches another milestone: It’s her 40th birthday.
From winning state titles at Christ the King and two NCAA crowns at UConn to capturing four WNBA titles and four Olympic gold medals, Bird has celebrated championships around the globe.
And while the WNBA’s all-time assists leader got shoutouts from LeBron James as he also closed in on a fourth title in his 17th season, her legacy extends off the court. Bird helped shepherd a historic collective bargaining agreement last January and spearheaded social justice issues in the WNBA bubble this past season.
We look back at the legend of Sue Bird.
How it started
Little did Suzanne Brigit Bird from Long Island know just how far she’d go on a basketball court. Baby Bird played AAU ball — shown in the photo below at a girls 11-and-under national championship in 1992, just three years before the UConn women would win their first national championship.
Bird has always been a steady, consistent player on the court, but like Seattle teammate Breanna Stewart,